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Adventure Pass Grants Program

Parks California, in partnership with California State Parks, is excited to announce the launch of the Adventure Pass Grants Program. Through this grants program, we aim to support transportation, programs and activities needed for 4th graders and their families to explore California State Parks.

Studies¹ indicate that access to parks and greenspace can lead to improvements in children’s physical well-being, social/emotional learning, and academic outcomes, with children experiencing reduced stress²and demonstrating more enthusiasm³ for school. Every child should have easy access to parks. This program is one way we all can make that possible.

We are currently accepting applications from organizations seeking to take advantage of the Adventure Pass pilot. By reducing the cost of admission and transportation challenges to park access, we can ensure the benefits of the Adventure Pass are more equitable across families4. Applications must be submitted by a nonprofit organization proposing to connect 4th graders and their families to the participating park/s. Partnerships are highly encouraged and recommended.  

GRANT ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA   

For the 2023 Adventure Pass Grants cycle, we are seeking proposals that address the following criteria: 

  1. Proposal must connect 4th graders and their families to a California State Park or Beach. 
  2. The California State Park or Beach must be one of the 19 participating in the Adventure Pass pilot program.  
  3. Participants must include underrepresented communities who may face challenges getting to or enjoying parks including but not limited to – low-income, physical and/or emotional disabilities and/or People of Color.  
  4. Program reduces the park access transportation barriers to enjoying parks.  
  5. Program provides relevant experiences for participants in CA State Parks.  
  6. Programs that foster dialogue, collaboration and partnership with California State Parks.    
    1. All applicants must engage with the proposed park site prior to submitting a grant proposal and have dialogue about the proposed park visits and activities. A letter of acknowledgment from the park in which you intend to visit must be attached to the proposal at submission to be considered.  

 Preference will be given to programs that:  

  1. Provide participants with multiple, meaningful, and relevant outdoor experiences.  
  2. Have an innovative and/or sustainable transportation approach. 
  3. Have history in engaging and offering programming for underrepresented communities who may face challenges getting to or enjoying parks including but not limited to – low-income, physical and/or emotional disabilities and/or People of Color. 
  4. For Adventure Park Pass program evaluation efforts, provide opportunity for random sampling of participants for follow-up surveys. 

Who can apply? Nonprofits including 501 c3; California State Park partners such as cooperating associations, friends’ groups, etc.; K-12 institutions and City/County. 

Parks California anticipates grant awards will average $20,000- $30,000. Programs should be completed within the grant cycle year, February 2023 – December 2023. 

Apply Now

Timeline 

Event  Date  Description 
Grant Guidelines Released  September 12, 2022  Available through the Foundant Portal  
Informational and Q&A Webinar  September 27, 2022 4pm   

Parks California will hold a webinar to review this RFP and proposal process. All parties interested in submitting a proposal are encouraged to attend- it is not required that you be on a webinar to submit a proposal. The webinar will also be recorded and made available on the Parks California website for those who cannot participate in the live webinar. 

 Click here to RSVP to the webinar  

Parks California Grants Program Office Hours   October 4 and 21, 2022  Staff will be available during “office hours” from noon – 4p to answer questions by phone. To schedule a 15-minute meeting during “office hours,” please email grants@parkscalifornia.org. Meetings will be accepted and confirmed after the September 27 webinar. 
 

Proposals due 

 

October 31, 2022 

 

Foundant Portal 

 

Grant Funding Announcements 

 

January 2023 

 

 Sources 

 

Frequently Asked Questions  

 

Q: Is the grants program limited to the 19 State Parks the adventure pass is piloted at? 

A: The majority of programming must be held at one (or more) of the 19 State Parks and beaches. If a program has multiple park experiences, visits to additional state parks are acceptable. A list of parks participating in this pilot can be found here 

 

Q: Can schools and teachers apply? 

A: Yes, schools, districts, and educators are welcome to apply, but the program must engage fourth graders and their families 

 

Q: Can I apply to take my classroom on a field trip? 

A: No, field trips are not eligible as families must participate in the program in addition to fourth graders.   

 

Q: Does the Adventure Park Pass Grant Program cover transportation costs? 

A: Yes, grants can be used to cover the cost of transportation for participants. This may include but is not limited to gas cards for personal vehicles, rental vans, public transportation, etc.  

 

Q: How can I access an Adventure Park Pass for my fourth grader? 

A: Parents and guardians of fourth graders can go to reservecalifornia.com, visit a Pass Sales Office, or call (800) 444-7275 to access a pass. More detailed information on the process can be found here. 

 

Q: Can program managers access the Adventure Park Pass for their participants? 

A: No, due to privacy concerns, each adult must apply for the adventure pass for their fourth grader. We recommend program managers familiarize themselves with the pass access options to assist their participants with accessing the pass. 

 

Q: How can I contact a State Park to receive a letter or acknowledgment? 

A: We recommend contacting the state park unit by phone and requesting a state park interpreter. Park phone numbers can be found on a park unit’s website. Please allow advanced notice to park staff by beginning the process early. If you encounter problems obtaining a letter of acknowledgment, please email grants@parkscalifornia.org 

 

Q: Are there any costs the grant program does not cover? 

A: Adventure Pass Grant funds can be used on all expenses related to a program, including staff pay. A detailed project budget will be required on the application.